Changes in the cards for Pa. benefit recipients

    Changes to debit cards for Pennsylvania’s unemployment and workers’ compensation benefits are expected to help recipients save money.

    The cards go to more than 40 percent of those receiving unemployment and workers’ compensation.

    State Treasurer Rob McCord says under a new contract signed with JPMorgan Chase & Co., they’ll come with fewer fees of the kind he says “nickel and dime” users.

    “We dramatically expanded the ATM network, so there are 3,200 machines that people can use for free. They can get unlimited, free in-network ATM withdrawals, so there’s no incentive to withdraw, for example, your entire payment,” he said. “So you don’t pay $1.50 or more to withdraw more.”

    Some fees for the new cards will go up, but for services that aren’t in such high demand, such as the cost of a replacement card, McCord said.

    About 150,000 people have cards in the old debit card program, run by Xerox.

    Recipients will be mailed a new card that will be active by mid-March, and any remaining fund balances on the old cards will be accessible until September.

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